Dow: Sustainability = Money

I feel like I wrote this equation before but yesterday’s investor presentation from Dow Chemical emphasized their strategy in incorporating sustainability in all aspects of their operations and businesses mostly because it is profitable to do so.

The company has been busy investing and making deals right and left in lithium battery, carbon capture, solar, and other sustainability-infused projects. Here are some of them announced yesterday:

1. Dow and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) signed a multi-year researchcollaboration in the development of new, ultra low cost, highefficiency photovoltaic materials. The solar research initiative is oneof Dow’s largest externally funded research agreements.

2. Lithium ion battery developer High Power Lithium (HPL) has transferredall of its collective assets to Dow. HPL has been developing nextgeneration metal phosphate electrode materials and electrolyte systemtechnology.

3. Dow Kokam acquires all of the assets of lithium battery manufacturer Kokam America. The acquisition will enable Dow to manufacture a wide range of lithium polymer cells especially to the electric vehicle industry. Dow Kokam has been awarded a $161 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) last August to develop new generation of high-power battery technology electric vehicles.

4. Dow and Denbury Onshore LLC (Denbury) signed a memorandum of understanding to capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) by-product from Dow’s ethylene oxide (EO) plant in Plaquemine, Louisiana. Denbury will use the CO2 for its enhanced oil recovery operations. The CO2 capture project is expected to be operational in mid-2011.

5. Dow’s Polyglycols, Surfactants and Fluids business are now supplying their DOWTHERM(TM) heat transfer fluid to three additional Spanish solar power plants enabling the facilities to collect heat and convert it into electrical energy.

Here are photos from Dow’s exhibits at their Investor Day conference featuring their “green” products and projects:

Showcasinglow VOC-paints as well as its EPA Green Chemistry award-winningSea-Nine™ CR marine anti-foulant, a technology developed by Rohm andHaas. Sea-Nine™ antifoulants replace environmentally persistent andtoxic tin-containing antifoulants.

Samplesof Dow Corning’s solar material solutions. Dow estimates thepolysilicon global market at $3.2bn, growing at 20%/year andencapsulants at $330m growing at 23%/year.

Dow’svegetable oil-based polyol Renuva, which was launched in 2007, are nowfound in furniture, bedding, carpets, home decor, footwear,automobiles, toys, paints, adhesives and sealants.

Dow Agrosciences claims that it hasmore US EPA Presidential Green Chemistry awards than any other agcompany. The company also said that it has the largest natural productresearch program in the industry.

Dow said its POWERHOUSE Solar Shinglesopens a new market with a potential global opportunity of $5bn. Thesolar shingles will be available in limited quantities in 2010 but willbe widely available in 2011.

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2 Responses to Dow: Sustainability = Money

  1. GFS 14 November, 2009 at 3:38 am #

    Full of philosophical

  2. Doris de Guzman 16 April, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    Here’s another skeptical comment posted on the EnergyCollective site for this post.

    by Joy Sabl on November 20 2009, 01:29

    Lovely. Except that I always thought that responsibility for past actions, and those of the companies one buys, are an essential aspect of sustainability.

    Dow has benefited from their acquisition of Union Carbide’s technology, products, profits and infrastructure. When does Dow plan to remediate the ongoing chemical contamination at Bhopal?

    I’ll believe the “Human Element” ads and the green bona fides of Dow…after they fund the lifelong treatment needed by the kids who are still being born terribly deformed after their mothers drink the contaminated groundwater, the kids who suffer from developmental delays due to drinking the water themselves, and older people who survive in a near-stupor on half a lung’s worth of breathing capacity. And AFTER they remediate the site, which is still staggeringly toxic.

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